Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Disabling Auto-Indent in Emacs

I have to edit a C++ file at work whose indentation is so screwed up that any punctuation key I type ends up changing the indentation of the line I'm working on to something that is way out of line with the text right around it. For sanity's sake I have to M-x set-variable c-syntactic-indentation nil when I'm working on that file. The c-syntactic-indentation variable does not start out buffer-local, meaning that for the sake of the one stupid file, I have turned off the very useful feature of syntactic indentation for every file I have open in that session. So, if you are ever going to set it temporarily, make sure you have this line in your .emacs file:

  (make-variable-buffer-local 'c-syntactic-indentation)
While you're at it, don't you want a shortcut for the set-variable? I amused myself greatly this morning as I tried to think what shortcut I would assign this action to. The obvious mnemonics I polled with C-h k were taken: I have C-c TAB set to indent-region, C-c ; to comment-region, and C-c { set to a function to insert a skeleton class definition.  What to do?  I finally hit upon C-c (, and lo-and-behold I had already set that keystroke to toggle c-syntactic-indentation, sometime in the distant past! Here's the code:

  (global-set-key "\C-c("
                  '(lambda ()
                     (setq c-syntactic-indentation (not c-syntactic-indentation))
                     (message "c-syntactic-indentation set to %s"
                              (if c-syntactic-indentation "t" "nil"))))

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